Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
It was during the recording of The Guy at the Movies Podcast with Joe and Sean this week where I found out that eight of the categories of the Oscars will be awarded before the ceremony and then shown throughout the ceremony. Since this news, there have been many takes both heard and shouted, and as the anger has subsided a clearer picture has been presented, but it’s one where the Academy is severely flawed in its decision.
While this is receiving quite a bit of pushback there are still arguments in agreement of the move, the first of which is that the ceremony is too long. However this is not because of the giving of an Oscar and 45 second speeches but it’s because of montages and comedy bits that never work or fit in with the theme of the ceremony.
Another argument for the move is that they will still be seen on the broadcast, it just won’t be live. In the simplest of terms this is not the same, but to be more complex the word will get out who wins there will be no suspense and the shining moments of these eight awards will be reduced to a highlight reel that barely gets attention.
The strangest argument some have given in support of this move is that the Emmys and and the Grammys already do this, which is true but those are entirely different awards bodies covering a much wider span. There are different types of television on music but only one type of a movie where those crafts are simply examined.
Regardless of the explanation, the awards still being filmed but not broadcast live is flat out disrespectful to these categories regardless of the other ways they will be presented and this is more of a messaging from the Academy’s lack of care to these portions of the movie industry.
The telecast wants popularity, but that is something it will never get anymore, not because the Oscars are political or because the movies aren’t popular. It is because television specials are not as popular and it’s not the Oscars job to draw viewers in but instead advertises the movies that have been nominated as they potentially reflect the best of Hollywood. So elimination of categories does none of that.
All these changes do is alienate the true film fans while bringing in no one from the outer fray and therefore this has the potential to drop a further amount in viewership numbers. With this decision, the Academy has shown they care more about viewers that do not care about the movies involved.
Even if there are moral reasons to not cut out these categories, they also lack business savvy in some portions of these cut categories that people want to see. In the category of Original Score, Hans Zimmer is heading toward his second Oscar after quite a substantial absence or it could go to someone less familiar to the Oscars in Germain Franco in Encanto and either would be an interesting win to see.
In the Best Original Song category, you have mega stars like Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and Lin-Manuel Miranda and legends like Diane Warren and Van Morrison where both the competition and the performances will be worth seeing.
Production Design, Sound, and Film Editing may not be the most prominent of awards but they are essential to film and just as important as a performance. You may never clearly see these aspects of film and therefore they are frequently never thanked. This is their time to be appreciated and they have been robbed of that by being cast aside into a pre-recorded show with no drama and separate from the rest.
When it comes to the three short film categories, those have often been joked about as expendable categories but they are also the starting gate for many important filmmakers including now famous and beloved Martin McDonoough and also many Pixar animators who begin to climb that ladder. This is the future of Hollywood and they should be treated as such.
It’s silly to care so much about something like this, but this is a passion for so many and the Academy is caring more about the popularity of their show then the integrity of their show and if it’s not reconsidered this year, I hope it shall be next year.